Posts Tagged ‘As You Like It

13
Mar
12

believe

You know there are some things you keep meaning to do and life gets in the way of you doing them? I’m not talking about putting on a show or applying for funding or writing a play or changing your career. I’m talking about the little things. Baking cupcakes and decorating them, reading a book (that’s not a text book), walking on the beach (barefoot), getting to that yoga class or meditation session…the things the Choccy Chicks tell us are not the luxuries but the self-nurturing necessities of life. Appropriately, they grace the cover of Holistic Bliss this month. Well, tonight I did the meditation session. Raelene Byrne, of medicineforyourspirit.com is leading her groovy, guided meditation each week in the middle of nowhere bushland in Diddilibah. As the weather cools down, she is promising hot chai, so I’ll definitely be going back!

Tonight though, let me tell you, I didn’t want to go. I was so tired, I’d left some things unfinished, the house was a mess, I wanted to sleep, I was hating on Diddilibah for being so far away from me and I thought perhaps I should stay home instead, especially since Poppy wasn’t happy to see me go out again and Sam is off to Sydney tomorrow for Short + Sweet (sorry, Augusta Supple, the boys won’t boycott; they want to win it, regardless). Also, I got lost. I know where the place is – I have a friend who lives near there – and I once handed out to the punters there, How to Vote cards, so I KNOW where it is. Just not how to get there. And Diddilibah Road is long. And dark. I drove for fifteen minutes (just along Diddilibah Road!) and turned right instead of left and, you know, knew that was wrong because I was headed up Kiels Mountain, turned around and found the place but not before I’d gotten lost. I hate that I had to get lost to find the place I was supposed to be in. You know? Yeah, you know. How profound.

So when I got there I was half relieved (Candles! Light! Incense!) and half sick of being out without a glass of bubbly in hand. Oh well. Lemon and ginger tea would have to suffice. Looking forward to that chai, let me tell you. I love finding new little pockets of Woodfordia right throughout the year. The first was David Berthold’s production for La Boite of As You Like It. The second, Raelene’s meditation tonight.

Fairy cards were offered at the door and the card that was peeking out at me was:

RISE ABOVE PROBLEMS

Perfect. Yes. Got it in one. Lots of problems this week. Lots. On several different levels. Clearly, I shall rise above them.

I meditated on being a writer (BE THE WRITER) and afterwards, introduced myself to Cheryl, with whom I’d connected, as an acting and vocal coach. Shit! Well, of course I am, sure, but you see, one of the problems this week has been a minor identity crisis. And by minor, of course I mean major.

Another problem has been that my five year old has started behaving like a teenager. She doesn’t take “no” for an answer and she’s staying up late. She goes through phases that are akin to my own guilt trips, apologises for failing to live up to my expectations, “feels bad” (she wails, “Mama, I feel BAAAD!”) and throws herself across the lounge, her bed, my bed (whatever is nearest), like a Hollywood starlet with her own reality TV show. One can only hope that all this rehearsal will lead to a lucrative contract.

“This meditation is very guided…” Okay, although I was interested to notice that Cheryl commented to Raelene later, “I didn’t hear a lot of your stuff. I just didn’t hear it.” I guess you take in whatever you take in at the time. Like an audition, or a show, you’ve got whatever you bring to it and that’s it. Get what you can. Give everything you have in that moment. And that’s your audition. Or performance. Or meditation.

I liked “very guided” because, as I said, I was so tired and I’m crap at meditation on my own. I don’t have the self-discipline to stop life for long enough to enjoy that quiet part of my life. That seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? On the other hand, I’m willing to go and be guided. And it was a pretty confronting little trip tonight (and by trip I don’t mean the getting lost to get there part or that there were drugs involved, though perhaps, for some, that would certainly help conjure those chakra colours. Just saying)…

I BELIEVE

I BELIEVE IN ME

How many artists (how many people) can honestly say, “I believe in me”?

I’m coaching a girl at the moment, who told me today that what we’re doing for her as an actor is changing her as a person. In a good way! The relaxed, easy approach to the story behind the text, as if its her own story, and the strong choices we’re making with regard to character and objectives, are helping her to relax in real life and become a more confident person, in her relationships with others and in the way she goes about her day. Fantastic! That’s what I like to hear! Well, what if we all started to approach the real life part in the same relaxed, easy manner as rehearsal (LIFE IS NOT A REHEARSAL) and made strong, clear choices about what our next word or action will be? We’d all be much better at selling ourselves on opening nights and Industry nights, wouldn’t we?!

Anyway, apparently there was awesome energy in the room – auras, blue orbs and…all that stuff, lots of healing emerald green; an Aurora Borealis installation art piece. Whatever. I don’t see it but the vibrations from the crystal bowls certainly make me tingly all over and feel kinda floaty, like when I used to practice astral projection so I could travel the world at night when my parents thought I was fast asleep. True. I visited all the continents when I was twelve.

So after we had focused on BELIEVE and I BELIEVE IN ME, I came away with a monstrous headache. Core message being that if we would only believe in ourselves as much as those around us do, we could accomplish anything.

Significance of headache? Hmmm…

Might need to mediate on that.

27
Feb
12

la boite’s shakespeare: as you like it

As You Like It 

La Boite Theatre Company

The Roundhouse

18.02.12 – 24.03.12

La Boite’s theatre is perfect for Shakespeare: it’s open and alive and allows actors and audiences to come together to share the joy.”

La Boite Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, David Berthold.

Have you ever been a part of Woodford Folk Festival’s shared joy? For the first show of La Boite’s 2012 season, David Berthold has brought a little bit of Woodford to The Roundhouse Theatre and it’s truly wonderful. The Forest of Arden IS Woodfordia and Berthold’s As You Like It is full to overflowing with the same joy, love and good karma. Bill Hauritz will be pleased.

Boasting exceptional performances and containing the best bit of fight choreography we’ve seen at La Boite, indeed; the best we’ve seen in Brisbane in a good while, by (Lead Fight Director this time) Justin Palazzo-Orr, this is a show for everybody. It’s funny and witty and heaps of fun. We are reminded by this play, that Shakespeare’s writing is so good, not only does it stand the test of time but also, it continues to appeal to all sorts.

Probably the most convoluted of the comedies, with a massive cast – in terms of programming, it often loses out to the more popular Twelfth Night – the plot of As You Like It may be unfamiliar. In simplest terms, the love story is central: girl meets boy, they fall instantly in love, girl disguises herself as boy, boy meets girl disguised as boy and they hang out in the forest together, become mates and wed, the girl’s true identity revealed on their nuptial day. Duke Senior and his merry men also inhabit the forest – their commitment is more permanent, their lifestyle a good deal greener and they provide much of the perspective of the play.

Director, David Berthold and Designer, Renee Mulder, have created, with suits and city skirts and jeans and flannel shirts, the look and feel of last year’s Woodford. Woodford has changed since its humble beginnings in the Maleny show grounds and the new mood has been perfectly captured. Rosalind (the remarkable Helen Howard) and Celia (Helen Cassidy) wear black, Cue-style suits and the latest season’s chunky suede shoes, which is just as well, because in narrower heels it’s a challenge to tread the shredded playground rubber that covers the floor of the theatre. As the god, Hymen, in his glittering, high-heeled disco diva boots, Alec Snow is a standout amongst student interns and puts to shame with his confident strut, many of the women in the audience (no offence, no-less-confident women in the audience. It’s just that Snow got to rehearse and as such, he looks to be a contender for the next run of Priscilla)!

Centre stage is a circular dais, which suddenly rises, in a simple, beautiful and breathtaking reveal, earning surprised applause from the opening night audience. Colourful lanterns, indie folk music (props to vocalist Lucy-Ann Langkilde, ready for a Chai Tent chalkboard gig), Tony O’Connor style forest sounds by Composer and Sound Designer Guy Webster and pretty, dreamy lighting, all amber and blue and pink, thanks to David Walters’ trek-out-to-the-Amphitheatre-after-the-Lantern-Parade-passes-by inspired lighting design, all combine to bring the magic of Arden Forest to our midst.

It’s not just the design that is stunning. The performances are superb. We can see the company at work on the next generation of actors, with a stronger focus on training and mentorship this year (there are eight interns in this production), doing their bit to close the gap between accomplished performers and the new, eager actors. Holding their own, in that middle ground where the graduates dwell, are Luke Cadden and Dominic Nimo, in their La Boite debuts.

Bryan Probets, as the jester Touchstone, manages to steal the show early on and later, whips up the audience in a riotous chorus; an old-fashioned, call and answer, effortlessly interactive theatre moment. His comedy is cleverly marked and he appears completely relaxed – delighted in fact – to be entertaining us. How lucky are we? The other exquisite moment in this piece belongs to Trevor Stuart, as Jaques. His delivery of the famed “All the world’s a stage” seven ages of man monologue is magnificent. If it has never stayed with you before, it will linger with you now.

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.

Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like a snail

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Sighing like a furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,

Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lined,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;

His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Kate Wilson and Hayden Spencer, play their parts beautifully; the first, kind and wise and generous as Duke Senior, as comfortable in the forest digs here as if it were home, high on the Range, and the second, the mincing miss shepherdess, Audrey, in his hippie mountain chic attire, posing and pouting to make us laugh ‘til we cry. Kathryn Marquet brings Phoebe to life.

Helen Cassidy is a lovely Celia and she is well paired with Helen Howard as Rosalind. These two are a celebration of the sisterhood! Howard is a striking woman and it’s easy to watch her every move. That being said, it’s just as easy to be completely distracted by the Adonis good looks of the Bard Boy of Brisbane, Thomas Larkin, in the role of Orlando. We’ve seen his naked torso for some time now, in an image for his upcoming role (Romeo) in QTC’s Romeo and Juliet. But you know this. You’ve seen the poster and you’ve had your say on Twitter too, I’ll warrant. For those who have been living under a tree at Woodford, Larkin’s co-star, Melanie Zanetti, looking extremely young (just as Shakespeare intended… half her luck) has been the subject of some controversy, stirred by a single complaint from a woman on the Gold Coast. While I look forward to seeing him in Romeo and Juliet, as Orlando, we see Larkin in his best role to date.

As You Like It is a show of superlatives. Whether or not ideas are borrowed, this is a brilliant interpretation; it doesn’t miss a beat. If you’re feeling like a bit of a lift, this is the best show you can see in Brisbane this month. It’s gorgeous, guaranteed to please. It’s what the world needs now; love, sweet love, and pure, unadulterated Woodford-all-year-round shared joy. Do yourself a favour and see this one. It’s guaranteed to reinvigorate your soul and warm the cockles of your heart.

24
Feb
12

zen zen zo actor training: the real week one. it begins.

Cathy Sheargold is vlogging about beginning Zen Zen Zo’s Actor Training. I know I said you would see her updates here on Tuesdays but this has been a crazy week for almost everybody I know. And now it’s Friday?! WTF? (Yes, that continues too, at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Get along and let us know what you see).

Technical probs have prevented me embedding Cathy’s latest vlog here but we’ll remedy that as soon as possible. Having had barely five hours sleep after seeing Summer of the Seventeenth Doll last night, I’m off to morning tea with the QTC peeps, then to the Matisse exhibition (artist’s date), then back to the coast to pick up Poppy from school and leave her with my sister-in-law (thanks, Kellie!), then to La Boite this evening for opening night of As You Like It and THEN to rehearsal in Noosa for Travelling North all weekend. So…yes, as soon as possible. In the meantime, log into your Facebook account and watch it here.

 

UPDATE –

 

 

 

Here’s Cathy’s Ouch That Really Hurts Bingo card. MYO and join the FUN!

 

14
Feb
12

Dominic Nimo: As You Like It

Dominic Nimo is probably not a name you’ll recognise…yet.

David Berthold’s La Boite production of Shakespeare’s comedy, As You Like It, marks Nimo’s professional debut. It’s an impressive first step into the professional arena and one for which he’s grateful and also tres excited about.

Nimo graduated in 2009 from QUT’s Fine Arts Acting Course. He says he entered as an extremely quiet and shy 17 year old.  The three years at QUT, training with the same 10 individuals daily, was an intense period.

Nimo’s biggest influences during acting training came from the countless mentors and the “very confronting yet valuable” Eric Morris System classes. Required reading was Eric Morris (No Acting Please). “He has many books, however; this was the first book I read as a student and it was a real introduction to Acting as a craft.” You can order Morris’s texts online from our friends at the Book Nook.

Nimo says he felt like a giant sponge, soaking up everything he could. The directors who came in to direct the actors’ 2nd and 3rd year shows were influential across all areas of Nimo’s acting training. “We were very fortunate to have such big names as Sean Mee, Bille Brown and Jennifer Flowers, to name but a few, not only direct us but also teach us throughout the entire process,” he says.

Nimo decided early to pursue acting as a career, simply for the love of it. I guess there are not many of us who go into the arts to make a fortune. “It’s very hard to explain to people the high an actor feels whilst on stage or on location for a shoot; the adrenalin that shoots through your body before you walk on stage for a show can only be compared to jumping out of an airplane before parachuting.  I love theatre, I love film and I love music; there isn’t anything else I would rather do.”

Nimo’s parents support his ambition. From the small island of Samoa, they moved to Australia in 1987; English was their second language. Nimo grew up the youngest of the family (he has two sisters and a brother). “My parents were always very hard-working and from a very young age I was well aware that my parents had moved here to give us greater opportunities in life. It was because of that reason that I felt like I could pursue anything and when I told my parents I wanted to act  they were nothing but supportive. They are very much like my biggest fans and I cannot express how thankful I am that they moved here, otherwise who knows what I would be doing.”

It seems that nothing will deter this ambitious young performer, though he notes, “This is a very tough industry to be in and I have learnt that first-hand from the two years I have been out of QUT. It is very easy to have your spirit broken or lose sight of your passion, however my parents did not raise a quitter. I have a very strong support system so I am not going anywhere.”

Berthold cast Nimo as Silvius, the ideal ‘Courtly Lover’ who is, Nimo explains, concerned only with his incomparable love for Phoebe, despite that love not being reciprocated. “There are many varieties of love explored throughout the play and Silvius introduces the foolery of love, suffering anything for the sake of his beloved Phoebe. I think we all, as humans, have had a lapsed moment where we became fools in love so in that respect, I can relate to Silvius. I have learnt that with characters like him it’s important to play the truth, play his heartbreak and play through the comedy, and the character will come naturally.”

Nimo is one of two new actors to the La Boite stage for this production. He says he was was extremely nervous being “one of the newbies” (Luke Cadden is the other), especially coming into a cast that has so many respected Brisbane actors.

Helen Howard (Hamlet, Colder) and Thomas Larkin (Hamlet, Julius Caesar) lead the 18-strong cast as lovers Rosalind and Orlando. Berthold said, “I needed a brilliant Rosalind. She is the indisputable centre of the play and Helen is indisputably brilliant. The role requires an actor of maturity, and Helen has that in the best possible mix of intelligence, experience and sexiness”

Berthold adds, “She needs to be matched, and Thomas was my one and only choice. He was great in Hamlet, but he blew us away as Mark Antony in Julius Caesar. “They complement each other fantastically – there’ll be sparks.”

Joining Helen and Thomas are familiar faces Helen Cassidy (Orphans), Kathryn Marquet (Ruben Guthrie), Bryan Probets (Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness), Hayden Spencer (Ruben Guthrie), Trevor Stuart (Hamlet), Kate Wilson (Water Wars).

Nimo has felt completely comfortable working with the actors he has admired for so long. “Everyone has been nothing but welcoming and I am very thankful for this amazing experience. I am very quiet in the rehearsal room and that is because, much like at uni, I feel like a sponge, observing and soaking up everything that I can.  I admire how free the cast is and how openly they play in the rehearsal room – sometimes when you are new you find yourself just trying to do everything right and forget everything else. That is the greatest lesson I have learnt from this experience.”

And what of working with one of our pre-eminent directors? Nimo acknowledges Berthold’s wealth of experience and observes that “he is not afraid to offer that to the young actors. This is evident by the eight student actors from QUT and Southbank Institute of Technology he has cast in this production. This is the first year that La Boite has had an actors internship program and it is great because David directs us all the same and that is very beneficial for a student actor.” Can working with a great director and with great actors help in becoming a great actor? Nimo says yes. “I think that is where you can learn the most.” Nimo admires the work of many actors, listing Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Drew Barrymore, Angela Basset and Denzel Washington, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush among those who have most influenced him thus far. Nimo says he is “a complete sucker for American reality TV.” He also keeps up with Spirited and Boardwalk Empire. He saw George Clooney in The Descendants and he’s currently reading Telesa- The Covenant Keeper by writer/blogger/teacher, Lani Wendt Young. (She’s a mother and wife as well as a writer and she states that in her ideal world, she “wouldn’t need to sleep. Ever. I would just stick my finger in a light socket and get a boost of energy whenever I got tired.”) Not just an actor, Nimo also sings. He says he loves music as much as acting. Perhaps the secret to Nimo’s boundless energy is the light socket of which Wendt Young speaks.

If Nimo were not acting, he says he would still love to be involved in the arts. “I’d love to be an A&R for a record label.” In the meantime, he’ll continue  “trucking along” on his journey as an actor and “hope for more amazing opportunities like this one to come my way.”

In the last two years, with Berthold at the helm, La Boite has tackled two of Shakespeare’s great tragedies. “This time around David has chosen one of Shakespeare’s most infamous comedies,” Nimo reminds us. “This play is so free and playful and at times you will find yourself in tears from laughter, and as opposed to the other two plays, As You Like It ends with one of the most beautiful endings.”

One of the most famous lines from the play is uttered by Jaques, who observes, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.” Nimo believes that this means the world is bigger than just one person. “For me it really puts everything into perspective. We come into this world, we play our part and then we exit.”

 

Rosalind falls in love with the younger Orlando at a wrestling match, as you do. Banished from the city by her usurping uncle, she disguises herself as a man, as you would.With her best friend Celia by her side, she seeks refuge in the magical Forest of Arden where she meets Orlando again and teaches him the art of love, just as she likes it.

As You Like It

at La Boite’s Roundhouse Theatre, Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove Village

Show Times: Tues & Wed 6.30pm, Thurs – Sat 7.30pm

Matinees 2pm Sat 24 Mar and selected mid-week shows Season 18 Feb – 24 Mar

Previews 18, 21, 22, 23 Feb (Tickets from $28)

Director: David Berthold, Designer: Renée Mulder, Lighting Designer: David Walters, Composer and Sound Designer: Guy Webster,

Assistant Directors: Heather Fairbairn and Steven Mitchell Wright

with Luke Cadden (Oliver), Helen Cassidy (Celia), Helen Howard (Rosalind), Thomas Larkin (Orlando), Kathryn Marquet (Phoebe), Dominic Nimo (Silvius), Bryan Probets (Touchstone), Hayden Spencer (Duke Frederick/Corin/Audrey), Trevor Stuart (Jaques/Adam) and Kate Wilson (Duke Senior).

Also featuring students actors from QUT and Southbank Institute of Technology: Thomas Carney, Hanna Galbraith, Thomas Hutchins, Jordan Kadell, Lucy-Ann Langkilde, Jerome Meyer, Alec Snow and Mahala Wallace.